Horsham were on their travels to local rivals Crawley and eventually overcame a much improved Crawley side 31-5.
The early stages of the game were well contested with Crawley enjoying good periods of possession and field position. This was by far the best period of the game for them but resolute defending by Horsham ensured that no points were conceded.
On the 20 min mark an innocuous passage of play ended with the ball going out of play but an ensuing ugly fight saw both teams guilty of unnecessary indiscipline and three players were yellow carded by the ref; the No8 of Crawley and Jerome Downey and Blaise Salle from Horsham. The referee dealt with the situation well and the match resumed without further incident.
However, the incident seemed to wake Horsham up and they dominated the rest of the half with Connor Peppard and Kyle Fairs scoring tries in quick succession and a conversion from Matt Lane-Miller ended the half 12-0.
The second half started with Horsham conceding two quick penalties and from under the posts the Crawly prop crashed over with great strength from 2m. However, that was the last time Crawley were in the Horsham half as our forwards dominated play with some great pick and drives. Crawley were well and truly on the back foot when Aaron Boczek drove over the line from 10m out which Matt converted. With Crawley tiring the back finally exploited the space with Matt scoring two trademark tries and a conversion to finish the game.
Apart from the ugly incident in the first half this was a well contested match and Crawley are continuing to improve as a squad.
Horsham again started too slowly and gave the early initiative to their opponents who, unfortunately, could not capitalize in terms of scoring points. Stronger opposition will not miss such chances.
Some good play in the second half between backs and forwards. A good win but plenty to work on.
Match reporter - Jeff Ashman